70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
Total Time = 6h 40m 32s
Overall Rank = 1636/2875
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 299/495
Pre-race routine:

Wake up at 4am had a big bowl of oatmeal and make a PBJ for the drive. Eat while drinking GU Brew for the 30 minute drive to parking from the in-laws' house. Got parked and unloaded the bike, checked the tires, then rode the mile to transition. My rack was fantastic! It was right next to the area in the middle of transition where they were body marking and had bike tech repair. This gave me a spot with no rack on the other side of the aisle for about 20 feet. I racked up second from the end and got set up then checked on the wife and her set up. Talked with a few of my rack mates and got ready to wait in the corral.
Event warmup:

Nothing really, just a little stretching and the short swim to the start line.
  • 38m 33s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 50s / 100 yards

I felt really good for this swim. I took it easy and didn't push too hard. I just didn't want to be too tired for the rest of my first attempt at a 70.3. I did a fine job sighting and staying out of the way of too many others.

It seemed like there was an incoming tide and we were swimming against the tide for the first half of the swim. I got to the turnaround about 21 or 22 minutes and finished in 38, so it sure was easier to swim back with the tide.

I stayed wide to the right until after the first turn, then just stayed along the bouys. At the boat ramp exit, I swam till my hands hit bottom then stood up and ran all the way to my bike.
What would you do differently?:

I might push a little harder and try for a better time, but this was within the timing I was hoping for for this race.
Transition 1
  • 05m 6s

I had a good T1. I was able to run all the way through transition both ways. I took my time to be sure I had everything and would be comfortable on the bike. I put on my socks and shoes and ran back out with my bike. I ran across the mount line, jumped on, and pedaled away.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing different for this race. As it was my first 70.3, I decided it's better to take an extra bit of time instead of rushing and making a mistaking.
  • 3h 33m 12s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.76 mile/hr

As I started in a very early wave, I was out on relatively empty course at the beginning. It was really nice having empty roads in such a big race.

My plan was to pace myself but keep a good pace for the first 30 miles so I would have plenty left for the back half hills. That went fine and then I saw the first hill. Umm, WOW! It was much more than I was expecting. I started grinding up in my lowest gear and found I was already slowing down to under 4 mph and working really hard. I ground away for a few minutes and finally about 1/4 of the way up the hill I decided i was working way too hard for the speed I was making. So, off the bike and push up the hill. I was the only one walking then, I didn't see one other competitor pushing on the hill. Oh well, that's what I get for starting in an early wave. All the fast guys are around me and catching up as I slow down.

After the first big hill, I was able to ride the rest of the course and the 2 other big hills I was now very nervous about never really appeared. I did encounter the other hills, but I was very well prepared for them and had no real problems. The rest of the hills paled in comparison to the first one. I was disappointed that I pushed the big hill, but later, happy that I didn't waste all my energy keeping my ego inflated. :-)

On the backside flats and rolling hills were easily manageable but the further I got into it, the more the wind picked up. I was able to manage over 15 MPH (average) for the course. I finished well within my goal time.
What would you do differently?:

The only thing I would change would be lots more training time. I did enough to get through my first 70.3. However I needed to HTFU and get more rides in. I only really managed a short trainer session or 2 during the weeks with a long ride on the weekends. I really need to do a lot more training time on the bike for my next attempt.
Transition 2
  • 02m 41s

The only issue I had with this transition was getting to my fantastic rack space. It was right next to the Shimano tent/body marking area. Remember all that extra room I had earlier... well, it was filled with about 15 volunteers watching the race unfold. They weren't watching me come in and I had to ask nicely (loud, "Coming through!") to make space to get in to my rack. Once they saw me, I had plenty of space. Got my shoes changed switched from helmet to hat and jogged out the other end of transition.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Great transition. (for me)
  • 2h 21m
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 46s  min/mile

Well, running has been the weakest part of triathlon for me since the start. I just finally started enjoying it in the last year. (6 years of tri-ing) My plan was to get 11 to 11:30 min/mile pace for the entire run. This would put me in my goal range and I knew I could do that. I hit the lap button on my watch as I left transition and started at a comfortable pace. I just kept a comfortable pace that I thought I could maintain. I got to mile one and checked the pace. It had only been 8:45! That's really fast for me. I had hydrated really well on the bike and it was coming back to haunt me now. I was trying to decide if I should just pee as I ran and pour a cup or two of water at the next aid station to wash it all away. But Then, I saw a port-a-potty and decided the break would help me in 2 ways. My heart rate was way up from starting out too fast. So, I stepped in and did my business. I got a long break to bring down my HR. (I didn't know I drank that much on the bike) I peed for almost a minute. (glad I didn't let it go while running)

I started walking the aid stations and getting plenty of whatever I needed without overdoing it. I got new sponges each station and tossed out the old ones. As I got to the 5 mile mark, I saw my wife coming the other way starting her first loop! That was a nice sight. She looked good! I made it to the turnaround and my pace was really close to 10:00 per mile! Hey, I didn't expect that! I hadn't been keeping track of my total time, just the time of my run. So, as I started lap 2 I switched my watch from stopwatch to the time setting to check what time it was. I was expecting to finish between 2:10 and 2:30pm. So, I was thought the time should be near 1:00 maybe a little after. Well, it was only 12:15! I couldn't believe it! I double checked the time in my head and counted the hours over a couple of times. Hey, If I keep up this pace for the rest of the race, I can finish in under 6:30 (WOW!!!) Well, it seems I couldn't keep up the pace I started, I had just gone out too hard and probably didn't train enough bricks. So, the longer I was out on the course, the slower I ran. My walk breaks got longer and more frequent. But, I continued on and eventually made it to the finish line.
What would you do differently?:

Do more bricks in training as well as learn to pace myself better just off the bike. (the bricks will help there)
Post race
Warm down:

Walked through finish area to the athlete food and ate about 10 slices of pizza. Got lots of coke and water. Then met my parents along the finish chute to watch my wife finish! I felt so much better than I expected to. My heart rate came down right away and I kept standing and walking around to keep from getting too sore right away.

Event comments:

My first 70.3! It was great! I had a goal time of between 7:00 and 7:30. So, I smashed those times! I'm already thinking about coming back next year. I have a goal in mind, but won't post it yet. I have lots of work to do in the next year to be better prepared for the course next time. Maybe I'll get another one in before the year is up.

Last updated: 2010-07-01 12:00 AM
00:38:33 | 2112 yards | 01m 50s / 100yards
Age Group: 178/495
Overall: 990/2875
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra full
Course: Out and back in the harbor.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 61F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:06
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
03:33:12 | 56 miles | 15.76 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/495
Overall: 0/2875
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: One loop with rolling hills for 30 miles then some big hills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:41
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:21:00 | 13.1 miles | 10m 46s  min/mile
Age Group: 299/495
Overall: 1636/2875
Performance: Below average
Course: 2 loops mostly flat along the beach and up into the beachfront neighborhood.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4